Keratoconus is a corneal disease where the cornea becomes progressively thinner at the bottom. Keratoconus can be caused by both genetic and/or environmental factors. As the cornea changes with the disease, vision becomes blurry and distorted over time. These changes can not be corrected with glasses, but require surgical correction or contact lenses.
Corneal cross-linking is a procedure which stabilizes the cornea to reduce corneal thinning. Riboflavin is activated by UV light to strengthen the tissues in the eye. This prevents the cornea from continuing to bulge overtime, and vision from becoming progressively worse. The procedure is performed out-patient and the recovery time is typically a couple of days. Slight pain and light sensitivity is to be expected.
Only 15-20% of people with Keratoconus ever need a transplant. With effective treatments like corneal cross-linking and sclerals lenses, we can avoid surgery in most cases. During transplant surgery, a portion of the patient's cornea is replaced with a donor cornea. Transplant surgeries are typically safe and successful, but complications may include: eye infection, Glaucoma, bleeding, retinal problems, and rejection of donor tissue.
Scleral Contact Lens
Scleral lenses are large, hard contact lenses made to bridge the entire cornea, and land on the conjunctiva. These lenses created a crisp, clear surface for the patient's visions while providing all-day comfort. Scleral lenses are preferred over soft contact lenses and usually provide multiple rows of improved vision on the eye chart. These are often covered by insurance once a patient has been diagnosed with Keratoconus. For more information on scleral lenses, visit our blog.